When Daniel Hayes comes to at the beginning of The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes, the latest thriller from Marcus Sakey, he is desperately cold, wet, and naked. After dragging his way across the deserted beach on which he finds himself, he discovers a lone car, a BMW, unlocked. He pulls himself into the car, gets it started, and warms up. When he's feeling sufficiently himself to take stock of his situation, he realizes that not only does he not know where he is or why he's there, but he has absolutely no idea who himself is.
And so begins his race, as Daniel struggles to figure out first who he is and where he needs to be, and then proceeds to make his way back across the country to L.A., evading the police who want to arrest him and the bad guy who wants to kill him. Daniel's memory comes back in bits and pieces, stimulated by dreams and TV shows and, eventually, by the photographs in his own Malibu home when he finally makes it there. He doesn't always like what he learns about himself, but he knows, at least, that he hasn't done the horrible crime for which he's being sought.
Marcus Sakey has put together a tight, well-crafted thriller, with action on every page and revelations around every corner. His protagonists are nicely fleshed out, and if the bad guy is perhaps a little one-dimensional, he's at least satisfyingly so.
The Two Deaths of Daniel Hayes comes out in June, just in time for the summer reading season. Perfect.